Windemere GP urges investment in GP care

RACGP Queensland vice-chairman and Windemere GP Dr Brad Murphy has called on whoever wins government in the upcoming federal election to give GP care a much-needed boost in the arm.

Earlier this year, the Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) launched its Federal Election Statement who requires continuous and comprehensive medical care including:

new service incentive payments to improve regular, ongoing and preventative care for seniors

increase Medicare reimbursements for patients who need longer appointments with their GP

keep telehealth discounts so patients have longer telehealth consultations with their GP over the phone

a new service incentive payment for patients with mental health issues which supports the bundling of a service including a mental health treatment plan by a GP and a physical health assessment

a new service incentive payment for people living with disabilities which provides for a health assessment and the completion of National Disability Insurance Scheme reports and documentation

introduction of additional support for GPs to see their patient within seven days of an unscheduled hospitalization or emergency department presentation

greater investment in rural health care, including increased workforce incentive programs with additional payments for GPs who use advanced skills in rural areas and l access to relevant Medicare Schedule of Benefits when a GP has advanced skills in areas such as mental health or pediatrics

Dr Murphy said the region’s patients deserved nothing less.

“The future of GP care should be at the center of this campaign,” he said.

“Often during election campaigns, GPs and GP teams are taken for granted and that needs to change. GPs, Chiefs of Practice, Nurses, Receptionists and Administrative Employees are needed by patients in the Wide Bay area now more than ever. The practices are issuing COVID-19 vaccines and boosters as well as flu shots, caring for people with COVID-19 as well as patients who have delayed or avoided consultations and screenings during the pandemic. We are also helping people with mental health issues exacerbated by the stress associated with the pandemic.

“The pressures facing GP have also not emerged overnight. It is important to remember that we were already dealing with an aging population, increasing rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes, and increasing numbers of patients with mental health issues. There are flaws in our healthcare system which, if not properly addressed, will prevent patients in areas such as the Wide Bay area from accessing the care they need.

“In January this year, the Royal Australian College of GPs released our election statement. This statement outlines a series of reforms, including increases to Medicare reimbursements, that will make Australia’s healthcare system more efficient and significantly improve long-term health outcomes for patients. Everyone deserves access to quality general medical care, regardless of their postcode and that includes locals.

The RACGP Queensland vice-chairman said boosting general medical care would help ensure no one falls through the cracks in the healthcare system.

“It is essential that we increase investment in general practice care,” he said.

“Just a few weeks ago, a Senate committee

/Public release. This material from the original organization/authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors.

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